Police looking for clues in 2-week-old Atwater shooting death, but confident they’ll crack case

Atwater police continue to investigate the city’s first homicide of the year, which left an Atwater man dead with a gunshot wound.

According to Atwater Police Chief Michael Salvador, detectives have been busy following up on leads in the case, but it remains unclear just what led to the killing. Officers responded around 7 a.m. on March 11 to 911 calls regarding a traffic collision at the intersection of Green Sands Avenue and Camrose Street.

When officers arrived on scene, they located 26-year-old Kamare Bailey in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head. Police said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several questions about what led up to the shooting remain unanswered. Salvador said police are not looking for any suspect vehicle and that the only collision in the incident appears to be when the vehicle Bailey was in left the roadway and struck a nearby fence. Police said it remains under investigation as to whether Bailey was shot before or after the collision.

It also remains unknown if the shooter was on foot or in another vehicle, according to police.

Salvador said the police department is aware of rumors that Bailey may have been involved in some sort of altercation or confrontation prior to the shooting, but nothing has been confirmed. Although no suspects have been identified or arrested in connection with the homicide, authorities are actively looking at what Salvador described as persons of interest.

Police have not identified a motive for the killing.

Authorities said the public has been helpful in providing information to detectives while the department continues to investigate leads and work with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office to ensure a prosecutable case.

“We’re confident that we’re going to resolve this case relatively quickly,” Salvador said.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact the Atwater Police Department at 209-357-6384 and ask for Detective-Sgt. Brum or Detective Vargas. Callers can remain anonymous.

“No matter what bit of information a member of the public has, all bits of information are important,” Salvador said.